California Closets used to be the ultimate dressing room chic. But, as is true in other realms of fashion, Kim Kardashian West (and Kanye) have raised the closet bar rod. Mary Astadourian and Jennifer Dynof of Details Organizing worked with Kardashian West on designing her dream space—complete with a Birkin bag wall, among other features. Here, they share the details behind the project, as well as how to get the (very organized) look.
Divide and conquer.
“Kim’s closet started out as a [space] for both clothes and accessories,” says company founder Astadourian, “and when we walked in we realized very quickly that that wasn’t going to work. So,” she adds, “[we] turned it into a full-blown accessories and finishing closet for her shoes, handbags, and jewelry.” A closet for just Manolo heels and Love bracelets? We’d take it.
Make sure you have a lot of shelves.
Astadourian notes that in general, and specifically when it came to Kardashian West’s closet, “We like to use a lot of shelves. You know when you walk into a store like Prada or Gucci, everything looks so good—it’s really merchandized well. One of the reasons it’s like that is that stores don’t ever put too many things on one shelf. We try to apply that idea. We don’t stack too many sweaters together, and we’d rather have a lot of shelves with four or five items on each one. Otherwise, it gets really messy, very quickly.”
“We’re big fans of The Container Store,” laughs Astadourian, “so we used a lot of different baskets from there.” She adds that in general, beyond Kardashian West’s space, “the important thing in organizing a closet is consistency—you want to use the same hangers and baskets. It’s very easy to look disorganized if you’ve got a million different pieces.” So if you have hangers in all the colors of the rainbow, just know that Kim K. would not approve.
Curate the space.
“Every space, closet, or pantry we treat as a room in the house,” reflects Dynof. “You want to make sure it’s not only functional but looks beautiful too. And we like to have little stories throughout.” On these vignettes she elaborates, “In Kim’s closet, we paired a red handbag and red shoe together to have a little cluster . . . and we did an Hermès Birkin wall for her as well.” That’s the kind of poetry we can get behind.
Customize, but leave room for growth.
Losing an earring shouldn’t be a problem for Kardashian West, considering the level of detail that went into this project. “We had customized drawer inserts made for [Kardashian West’s] jewelry and her belts, so everything—every hoop earring—had its own little cubby in a drawer or spot,” notes Dynof. “We counted her jewelry [but] always left room for growth. Kim reinvents herself, she edits her closet quite often, so there really is a revolving door when it comes to her wardrobe and accessories—you always have to anticipate that there’s going to be new things coming in.” #Same.
Don’t shy away from personal touches.
“[Kardashian West is] very sentimental, so it was really important to have that [Birkin] North painted for her for Mother’s Day front and center,” remembers Dynof. Some mothers might have a crepe paper necklace that their child made them hanging nearby—but North West works in a different medium.
Nude is the new neutral.
“One of the things with Kim that stood out was that she started her [color] wheel with nudes, while we always start with white,” says Dynof. “That’s the first color she thinks of; she thinks it’s colorless.” Judging from Kim’s wardrobe these days, that’s no huge surprise. The only question that remains is whether it all blends together. Nude-ouflage, anyone?
If you work with a professional, stay involved . . . and trust your spouse.
We all know that Kanye has done a lot of work in Kim’s closet, as immortalized in a certain Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode. But beyond the closet redesign itself being “a group effort” with the hands-on spouse, Astadourian emphasizes that Kardashian West’s background really helped the process go smoothly. “She has experience as a stylist and as someone who has organized clients’ closets previously.” Here’s hoping Kardashian West will consider taking on more clients in the future.
Advice for mere mortals?
“Take everything out and start with a blank canvas,” advises Astadourian. “Then you’ll really get a sense of the space.” Also, “The key is to be able to see everything, [otherwise] you’re not going to remember to wear it.” Overall, when it comes to paint colors or the floors, Astadourian concludes, “do whatever makes you happy, because it’s where you start and end your day.” Words of wisdom, for sure.
Editorial: Vogue, Madeleine Luckel